Arts Centre Melbourne presents Parvathy Baul

Deep in the heart of Asia TOPA is a place that is not a place ”“ an ephemeral crucible of constant change that might just change you in return. Welcome to XO State (ex-oh state), running from 22 ”“ 26 February.

Breathtaking master singer, instrumentalist, painter and storyteller, Parvathy Baul, is one of the leading exponents of Baul sung poetry, music and dance and will be performing exclusively as part of XO State. Baul is a stunning ancient spiritual tradition that originated from the Bengal region of India and is the confluence of many other sacred traditions including Vaishnavism, Tantric, Sufism and Siddha.

Celebrating the lineage of the great Sufis and mystics, Parvathy Baul returns to Melbourne (following a hugely popular debut at Supersense Festival in 2015) with a group of master musicians and storytellers. 15 different sacred instruments accompany sung poetry while audiences witness the unravelling of intricate Alpona (mandala) motifs awash with symbolism and spiritual meaning ”“ an art form practiced by almost every rural Bengali household.

Each element of the durational performance is a unique display of ancient devotional forms of spiritual transcendence.

Parvathy Baul is part of the DAYLIGHT program at XO State ”“ a new performance club at Arts Centre Melbourne’s State Theatre, created for the inaugural Asia TOPA Festival.

Arts Centre Melbourne’s State Theatre will be transformed into a mysterious site of wonder, as artists from across the Asia-Pacific region are given free rein to challenge imagination and distort reality. From durational performances of ecstatic energy to short sharp shocks to the senses and from dance to theatre to multimedia immersion.

Expect to be provoked, bewitched and delighted over the course of five nights as more than 25 acts drop by the State Theatre stage from the back rooms, clubs and bars, village squares and temples of our favourite neighbourhood haunts ”“ from Jakarta to Tokyo, Port Moresby to Bangkok, Seoul to Taipei.

Co-curated by Chunky Move founding director Gideon Obarzanek and Filipino performance artist Eisa Jocson, XO State is from the Arts Centre Melbourne team that brought you the sensational Asian program in the Supersense in 2015.

Arts Centre Melbourne as part of Asia TOPA presents

Parvathy Baul

Saturday 25 February

State Theatre Stage

1pm ”“ 6pm.

Audiences are welcome to enter and exit at any time throughout the durational performance.

Tickets: $25 at

Asia TOPA is a joint initiative of the Sidney Myer Fund and Arts Centre Melbourne, supported by the Commonwealth and Victorian Government.

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